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Cablegate: Darfur: September 21 Au Ditf Briefing Confirms

VZCZCXRO9162
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #2610/01 2681545
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 251545Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2618
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 ADDIS ABABA 002610

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/SPG AND AF/RSA
LONDON, PARIS, ROME FOR AFRICA WATCHER
CJTF-HOA FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MOPS KPKO SU AU
SUBJECT: DARFUR: SEPTEMBER 21 AU DITF BRIEFING CONFIRMS
AMIS EXTENSION, HIGHLIGHTS FUEL PROBLEMS

REF: A. ADDIS ABABA 2524

B. ADDIS ABABA 2523 AND PREVIOUS

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: While the AU PSC extended the mandate of
AMIS to December 31, and Sudan has allowed the rotation of
AMIS troops to resume, AU officials expressed concern that
transition to a UN peacekeeping operation remains an
unresolved issue. The AMIS Force Commander remained in Addis
Ababa, but reportedly received a visa for Sudan on September
24a. AU officials reported that security in Darfur continues
to deteriorate, citing aerial bombing by the GOS and threats
to IDPs. Inability to pay its aviation fuel contractor
compelled AMIS to ground its air operations and underscores
the need for funding and logistics support for AMIS to
establish a strategic reserve, AU military planners said. AU
officials also acknowledged that the Sudanese Air Force
forcibly refueled its aircraft using an AMIS-marked tanker.
The European Commission reported that it owes nearly 39
million Euros in unpaid pledges to the AU, but cannot provide
nearly USD 7 million sought by contractor PAE by September
30, as prepayment for the extension of food services. AU
officials requested partner assistance in conducting a
"lessons learned" exercise, and welcomed the appointment of a
USG Special Envoy for Sudan. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) On September 21, the African Union Darfur Integrated
Task Force (DITF) briefed selected AU partners (US, UK,
Canada, EC, NATO, and UN) on political, logistical, and
security developments of the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS).

---------------------------------------
AMIS EXTENDED; 2 BATTALIONS TO BE ADDED
---------------------------------------

3. (SBU) AU DITF POLAD Dr. Solomon Gomes confirmed that on
September 20, the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC),
meeting at the head of state level in New York, had decided
(1) to extend the mandate of the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS)
for three months to December 31; and (2) to enhance AMIS with
the addition of two battalions, as suggested in a new concept
of operations (CONOPS). (NOTE: Communique was subsequently
forwarded to AF/SPG on September 22. END NOTE.) While
Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore had told the press
that Sudan was willing to talk to the UN, "the issue is still
there, and that is transition."

4. (SBU) Gomes reiterated concern that the August 30 addendum
to the July 28 UNSYG's report on Darfur called for UN
military personnel to "infiltrate" AMIS: USD 50 million in
proposed UN DPKO assistance to AMIS was specified for 105
MILOBs, CIVPOL, and civilian staff from the UN. As Sudanese
military personnel were stationed in every sector, the
deployment of such UN staff could complicate the situation in
Darfur further, even leading to AMIS being asked to leave.
The area of operations for UNMIS was not the same as that of
AMIS, Gomes added. Operative paragraphs 7-8 of UNSRC 1706
discussed tangible support that the UN could provide to the
AU, he noted.

----------------------
ROTATION SHOULD RESUME
----------------------

5. (SBU) Referring to the GOS note verbale of the previous
week that requested the suspension of AMIS rotation pending
the outcome of the PSC, Gomes said there was now "no reason
to block the rotation process." If the GOS wanted the AU to
stay, then "it needs to cooperate with us," he said. NATO
Senior Military Liaison Officer (SMLO) noted the need for a
formal note verbale from the AU to both NATO and the EU, in
order to resume rotation; Gomes said that the AMIS Deputy
Head of Mission would raise the issue with the GOS and with
AU Peace and Security Commissioner Ambassador Said Djinnit.
The GOS had agreed to issue visas to incoming AMIS Force
Commander Major General Luke Aprezi and to 6 MILOBs, but had
not commented recently on rotation, Gomes said. (NOTE: AU
subsequently acknowledged receiving a GOS note verbale dated
September 18 granting overflight and landing clearance to
specific aircraft conducting rotation. END NOTE.)


ADDIS ABAB 00002610 002 OF 005


6. (SBU) Poloffs underscored the urgency of clarification
from the GOS to resume rotation, especially of Rwandan forces
who would utilize airlift from Botswana, and who would have
to wait to October if not airlifted within the next few days.


----------------------------
AERIAL BOMBARDMENT CONTINUES
----------------------------

7. (SBU) AU DITF Military Component representative Colonel
Masumba said information on actual activities on the ground
was "hard to come by," as AMIS was not given open access; it
was therefore difficult to provide a military assessment of
the military offensive by the GOS in northern Darfur. The
GOS continued to use aircraft to bomb areas held by
non-signatories to the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), Masumba
said. SITREPs received on September 21 reported Janjaweed
moving north to support the GOS offensive there. "The
assault by GOS is being done hand-in-hand with SLA Minni
(Minawi). There is a clear case here of the two working
together to try to deal with the non-signatories, SLA Wahid
and the NRF (National Redemption Front)," Masumba said. As
SLA Minni forces had captured one village from SLA Wahid, but
had been repulsed from another, the offensive was not so
successful, he added.

---------------------------------
SECURITY: CONTINUED DETERIORATION
---------------------------------

8. (SBU) Displacement of the civilian population was ongoing,
reflected in the number of new IDPs appearing at IDP camps,
especially at Abushouk and Tawila, Masumba said. He reported
a "deteriorating situation": villagers reported harassment
and raids by Arab militias, who prevented villages from
working on their own farms. In addition, demonstrations
against transition to the UN occurred throughout Darfur, "not
without some prompting". Two pro-UN demonstrations had also
occurred: one student had been killed in suppression of a
protest at the University of El Fasher; elsewhere, a local
sheikh had been arrested after condemning the GOS policy of
opposing the UN, but was later released following protest by
local residents and the intervention of the Wali (governor).
AMIS was also concerned about the threat of cholera,
particularly due to the situation of camps.

9. (SBU) SITREPs received September 21 showed threats to IDPs
from the GOS, and that the deteriorating security situation
was not improving, Masumba said. AMIS was trying to "hang
on" to do whatever it could, with limited resources; AMIS
could not abandon the people of Darfur, he said. Incidents
reported by AMIS MILOB group sites included the following:
-- Zam Zam: a 28-vehicle GOS "battle pick-up" convoy with
mounted weapons was reported threatening IDPs at Abushouk IDP
camp for supporting UNSCR 1706; local sheikh threatened that
if the UN came, the first shots fired would be against those
at the camp.
-- Various MILOB group sites reported cattle thefts (e.g.,
250 in Sector 8; also in Sector 6).

10. (SBU) Masumba cited apparently coordinated attempts seize
AMIS vehicles from unarmed CIVPOL:
-- A gunman fired at a PAE vehicle at a PAE camp, then fled,
after demanding its keys.
-- Tawila (September 20, 11:45 a.m.): CIVPOL monitor on the
way to pick up teachers at a primary school was stopped at
gunpoint in front of the school; driver continued to drive
toward the school, despite being threatened and struck;
gunman seized Thuraya satellite phone and charger.

11. (SBU) Masumba could not confirmed reports of GOS troops
being executed for cowardice, but said he would not be
surprised. That Janjaweed were being brought in to assist
the GOS suggested weakness among GOS troops, he said; GOS
troops had a long history of such weakness. Dr. Gomes noted
that if true, AMIS would likely have little to say about the
executions.

12. (SBU) Gomes noted that the ceasefire agreement had called

ADDIS ABAB 00002610 003 OF 005


for the GOS police to address crime, such as rape and
banditry. He expressed concern that AMIS SITREPs used
"Janjaweed" and "Arab militia" interchangeably. In fact, he
said, when the GOS conducted attacks, it summoned members of
the security forces (police, militia, etc.). SITREPs were
therefore inconsistent: speculative as to which rebel forces
the GOS was engaging, which underscored the AMIS Force
Commander's need for enhanced intelligence. Reporting from
AMIS was "less than satisfactory," and investigations were
often promised but their reports were never received.

-------------------------------------------
AVIATION FUEL PROBLEMS GROUND AMIS AIRCRAFT
-------------------------------------------

13. (SBU) Asked the impact of the grounding of AMIS
helicopters, Masumba acknowledged that "lack of jet fuel
means no flying," but said payment had been the issue. As a
check had been processed the previous day to authorize a USD
1.5 million payment to fuel provider Matthews Petroleum
Company (MPC), he said he hoped the situation was temporary
and that MPC would resume delivery. While there were no
problems with ground fuel, the aviation fuel situation was a
"serious problem and challenge." Payment was only a
short-term solution; "there is no reserve" of aviation fuel
in theatre, which threatens operations, Masumba said. Lack
of aviation fuel threatened rotation: how could aircraft
enter Darfur, if they could not depart? It was critical to
build a minimum reserve stock of 45 days. As MPC was paid
for the fuel that went into aircraft, partners needed to
assist in determining how to pay for and build a reserve
stock. AMIS stock was not paid for until it was consumed;
fuel being stored had therefore not yet been paid for. A
single supply flight brings only 50,000 liters: less than
what AMIS consumes in one day, so regular weekly convoys of
28-30 vehicles were needed. As the stock carried by such a
convoy would cost USD 2.8 million, AMIS could not create a
reserve stock without financial and logistical support (i.e.,
current storage bladders have insufficient capacity) from
partners.

14. (SBU) Dr. Gomes observed that this issue had been raised
earlier in 2004. AMIS had storage facilities for aviation
fuel in three locations among its 8 sectors; it was unclear,
however, whether they were functioning. Gomes recommended
that AMIS adopt the practice used by the UN Mission in
Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). UN Assistance Cell to AMIS
representative (formerly chief of fuel for UNMEE), said AMIS
needed its own stock, under its own management, not under a
contractor; he also noted that fuel could not be stockpiled
beyond 3-4 months. Gomes said AMIS did "not have a choice"
of whether to get fuel from another supplier. The issue
needed to be discussed with AU DITF Administration Control
and Management Center Chief Commodore Binega Mesfin and AMIS
HQ in El Fasher; payment was an internal problem, he added.

-------------------------------------------
SUDANESE AIR FORCE REFUELS WITH AMIS TANKER
-------------------------------------------

15. (SBU) Masumba acknowledged that MPC used a vehicle with
white "AMIS" markings to fuel GOS aircraft, but noted that
contractually the fuel in the tanker, until consumed, was not
owned by AMIS but by MPC. (NOTE: On September 22,
Ambassador John Kayode Shinkaiye, Chief of Staff to AU
Commission President Konare, formally informed Canadian
Embassy that the Sudanese Air Force forcibly seized an AMIS
tanker on September 11-12 and used it to refuel GOS aircraft,
which AMIS protested as a violation of bothe the Status of
Mission Agreement (SOMA) and the Darfur Peace Agreement.
AMIS reports that MPC has now repaired its wholly-owned
tanker, and will use it, rather than AMIS vehicles, to refuel
other customers. END NOTE.)

16. (SBU) EC representative expressed concern about the GOS
escorting fuel truck convoys from the Darfur border to El
Fasher. Gomes responded that following an earlier attack in
which fuel tankers were lost, the GOS had instructed MPC not
to provide fuel to AMIS. Noting the difficulty of dealing
with a sovereign government that was not sympathetic, such

ADDIS ABAB 00002610 004 OF 005


arrangements depended on "exigencies on the ground." DPA
non-signatories already had the false perception of collusion
between AMIS and the GOS, but in reality this was not the
case, and should not be an issue. Masumba said whether the
conduct of a contractor could imperil the mission was a valid
concern; it was possible "to starve AMIS of fuel," if there
were no reserve in the mission area. Even now, fuel convoys
were being broken up, with only a few vehicles being allowed
to pass. (NOTE: On September 22, a convoy of only 11 fuel
tankers was allowed to travel to Nyala. END NOTE.)

----------------------------
WITHDRAWAL CONTINGENCY PLANS
----------------------------

17. (SBU) Gomes said that withdrawal contingency plans were
in progress. Asked about the disposition of joint assets
such as vehicles and ammunition, Gomes said that Commissioner
Djinnit was seized with the issue. The AU felt that for
assets given to the AU, the AU, not partners, should
determine their disposition; distribution of such assets to
either troop contributing countries or the African Standby
Force (ASF) was being considered. More information was
needed from Commodore Mesfin. On preparations for handover
to the UN, Gomes said the AU and UN had met on September 14
and that meetings with the UN were ongoing: "when the time
comes, it will not be difficult to happen."

--------------------------------
AMIS FORCE COMMANDER AWAITS VISA
--------------------------------

18. (SBU) Incoming AMIS Force Commander Major General Luke
Aprezi (introduced the previous week) said he hoped to be in
El Fasher by September 25, and expected to pick up his visa
for Sudan. (NOTE: As of September 25, Aprezi remained in
Addis Ababa, but had reportedly received his visa the
previous day. END NOTE.)

19. (SBU) Colonel Masumba noted that the new FC's arrival
should support the AMIS Forward Joint Mission Headquarters
(FJMHQ). Officers from El Fasher had briefed DITF on
resistance to the FJMHQ and lack of support from the outgoing
FC, who thought the FJMHQ an unnecessary structure. The
agreement to hire a retired Zambian brigadier general as head
of the Joint Operations Center (JOC) was "still in the
pipeline."

--------------------------------------------- -
AU AWAITS EC CONTRIBUTIONS OF 40 MILLION EUROS
--------------------------------------------- -

20. (SBU) EC POLAD discussed the status of European
Commission financial contributions to the African Union. AU
note verbale 2778 of September 13 requested that the EC: (1)
expedite transfer of 50 million Euros under the current
contribution agreement, to address current bills presented by
contractor PAE; and (2) address the prepayment requested by
PAE (for the extension of food services from October-December
2006). According to Brussels:
--under the second contribution agreement, 4 million Euros
for AMIS II remained outstanding and not yet paid by the EC;
-- two weeks earlier, the EC paid 15.6 million Euros to the
AU;
-- the EC still had to make payment of 20 million Euros for
October 2004-October 2006;
-- the sixth contribution agreement, covering August 7 to
mid-October, remained to be worked on;
-- the EC could not engage in direct payments to contractors
(i.e., and therefore cannot pay PAE directly, as the UK does
for fuel);
-- as noted at the July 18 AMIS pledging conference in
Brussels, the EC made additional pledges for AMIS for October
2006; the Netherlands and the UK had indicated that they
would cover AMIS beyond October 2006.

---------------------------------------
DARFUR-DARFUR DIALOGUE AND CONSULTATION
---------------------------------------


ADDIS ABAB 00002610 005 OF 005


21. (SBU) Dr. Gomes had no announcements regarding the DDDC.
DPA non-signatories still sought to make contact with the AU,
and were awaiting the return of AU Commission Chairperson
Konare. Konare would also decide between two possible
candidates to replace Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe as AU
Special Representative for Sudan. (NOTE: Post has learned
that Ethiopian national Abdul Mohammed, a consultant to the
AU on Sudan who is also an employee of UNICEF as well as a
director of the Addis-based NGO, InterAfrica Group, has been
selected to chair the DDDC preparatory committee. Official
announcement of his appointment has been delayed pending his
release from UNICEF. END NOTE.)

-------------------------------------
REQUEST FOR "LESSONS LEARNED" EXPERTS
-------------------------------------

22. (SBU) LG sought clarification of a September 19 AU note
verbale to partners requesting a "comprehensive 'Lesson
Learned' exercise as soon as possible," and noted that the
request for 2-3 people was not realistic given the scope of
the task. Gomes replied that a team of 10 had worked on
UNMEE lessons learned, and that partners could decide how
many experts they could provide. "You decide what you can
do." He said Commissioner Djinnit had been pleased with the
earlier lessons learned report from Canada. LG noted that
NATO had previously submitted a note verbale with an
outstanding offer to embed one lessons learned expert with
the AU.

---------------------------------
APPOINTMENT OF USG ENVOY WELCOMED
---------------------------------

23. (SBU) Upon being informed of the USG's appointment of a
Special Envoy for Sudan, Dr. Gomes said Commissioner Djinnit
had earlier received a proposal to appoint two special envoys
for Sudan: one from the AU, and the other from partners.
Another special envoy would be useful, to bring greater
pressure on the GOS, especially given President Compaore's
remarks that the GOS was willing to engage the UN. Gomes
expressed optimism that transition to the UN could occur;
President Bashir needed to be briefed on the enhancement of
AMIS, and on the replacement of "green berets with blue" who
were there to help Sudan, not to overthrow him. Some 10,000
foreign troops were already in Sudan. Sustained, collective
pressure was needed, particularly as December was not far
away.
HUDDLESTON

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